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Do I Need to Cover My Air Conditioner?

With cold weather on the horizon in Rockford, you may be questioning when you should cover your outdoor air conditioner. Of if you should even cover it at all.

Your AC unit is a strong piece of equipment. It’s designed to withstand severe weather, including excessive temperatures and heavy precipitation.

Sometimes covers do more harm than good, because they can trap moisture. Extra wetness inside your system can cause internal parts to rust or get moldy.

While installing an air conditioner cover is a personal choice, there are two times of year that are good to use a cover for an extended period of time—fall and summer.  

That’s because yard rubbish during those seasons—grass clippings, twigs and leaves—can build up and lower your system’s airflow. Decreased airflow means your air conditioning unit works more and may use more power to cool your house.

Wanting other ways to make your air conditioner run efficiently? Regular AC maintenance from Crome Mechanical heating and cooling professionals can help. We’ll clean and lubricate your equipment, and examine critical pieces. This often allows us to pinpoint issues before they begin.

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How to Choose an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide you want to cover your air conditioner, here are a couple suggestions on selecting the right cover. 

Avoid Full Covers

To keep air circulating, a protective air conditioner cover should only enclose the top of your unit and a few inches on the side.

Complete AC covers can trap water inside your system, potentially rusting metal components. It could also make your air conditioner an inviting home for animals, which could chew wires.

Related: What New Homeowners Need to Know About Their Air Conditioner

Don’t Use Plastic or Vinyl Covers

Plastic or vinyl covers impede air, which could cause water to build up inside your system. The best type of fabric is one that allows airflow, like canvas or mesh.

Related: How AC Repair & Maintenance Can Actually Save You Money

When to Use an Air Conditioner Cover

If you decide to use an air conditioner cover, here are the best times to install it.

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Summer

A lightweight mesh cover during the summer allows your air conditioner to run freely while keeping grass clippings and twigs out.

Related: How Do I Know if My Air Conditioner is Running Properly?

Cover Your Air Conditioner During Fall

A breathable canvas cover will block leaves, nuts and other debris from falling into your equipment.

Related: Tips for Cleaning Your System

Cover Your Air Conditioner Before Severe Weather

You can temporarily cover your air conditioner in the winter when you know a snowstorm is approaching. Snow and ice that accumulate inside your air conditioner can melt and refreeze, harming condenser coils and reducing efficiency.

Although it’s not always possible to anticipate a hailstorm, you can temporarily cover your AC if a strong storm is approaching in Rockford. Hail can seriously damage your system’s coils, affecting efficiency.

Related: How Severe Weather Can Lead to AC Repair

We Can Help Your AC System Run Efficiently

Whether you have questions about heating and cooling or need air conditioning service, Crome Mechanical offers aid. Give us a call at 616-200-7264 or schedule an appointment online.

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